Do you want to grow your own herbal medicine? or even herbs useful in the kitchen for cooking or preserving. This link brings you to a really interesting Podcast from The Sustainable World Radio website. I’ve added a link to this website in the Links Column on the left side of the Home page.
In this Podcast, urban farmer and community herbalist Bonnie Rose Weaver shares the joys of growing medicinal plants in an urban environment.

Bonnie Rose Weaver – Herbalist

In 2014, Bonnie launched the Seed to Bottle Apothecary 1849 Medicine Garden, a project that taught urbanites about the benefits of locally grown plant medicine. 1849 included an Herbal CSA- or community supported agriculture program where members receive herbal tinctures created from herbs grown in their area. Bonnie grew her herbs on a 1/16 of an acre in San Francisco, CA.

Bonnie believes that medicine is all around us, even in the heart of the city and that taking herbs grown locally can be potent medicine. In this interview she talks about how she propagates herbs (sowing seeds in flats – not cells), why it’s important to reproduce a wild quality in your plants, and how plants grown in your neighborhood or bioregion face many of the same stressors that you do, making them effective medicine. Bonnie also talks in detail about some of her favorite herbs including Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), Mullein (Verbascum thapsus), Grindelia (Grindelia robusta), Milky Oats (Avena sativa), and Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris).


WorldCafe“World Café”

On Thursday 15th November At 8:00pm

The Skerries Mills.

Sustainable Skerries will be running a World Café on 15th Nov. This is a very open and relaxed forum, and a great way to get a discussion going on important topics. We will have small groups of five or six people per table, each table will have a question related to sustainability and resilience in Skerries.

After 10 minutes, everyone except the facilitator will move to another table. We’ve run a couple of these in the past and they’re great craic.

It should lead to some lively debate, everyone can contribute as much or as little as they want.

We’ll be asking questions like:

  • “Where did all our water go? Did you know that 50% of our Water leaks into the ground the ground before it reaches our taps?
  • “Are we getting all the goodness we can from our food? How can I compost at home?”
  • “Are you fed up with our throw-away culture? Would you like to learn to repair things like our parents did?
  • Single Use Plastic, “How did we survive before plastic? Is it the consumer or the producer who drives change?”
  • Energy Security, Lights out in NI? Where is our energy coming from?


If you are interested in discussing these topics or would like to learn more about them get in touch with us at and let us know if you can attend.



Sustainable Skerries will be hosting a Global Café in The Mills, keep the date, Thursday 15th November.

We’ll be discussing Water supply issues to Skerries, Plastics “Single Use”waste, our Food and Energy security, what environmental impact will Brexit have on our town.

More details to follow.

Are you dreading the upcoming water charges? Have you thought of ways to save water? Do you want your garden to look gorgeous even during hosepipe bans? Are you looking for ways to reduce your reliance on mains water supply? Come to our rainwater harvesting information evening to get ideas, information and inspiration on how to harvest and store usable rainwater from your roof.

Where: Skerries Mills
When: Thursday 3rd of April 2014, 8pm

Sustainable Skerries is launching a new series of classes entitled, “Lessons for Sustainable Living”.

The first class is on Thursday Sept 12th, in Skerries Mills, and will generally be held every Thursday evening for 9 weeks. Times and course content are listed below.

The cost of the full course is €80, and enrollment is open now. Places are limited.

If you would like learn a bit more about the course, contact us on or call Rosaleen  (086 7341764) or Mary (086 0643498)

Lessons in Sustainable Living
Date Time Topic Venue
Sep 12th 8.00pm  to 9.30pm Welcome, brief course introduction & Introduction to Wild Foods Skerries Mills
Sep 19th 8.00pm to 9.30pm Food Nutrition & Food Preserving Skerries Mills
Sep 21st Note Saturday Afternoon (2pm to 4pm) Skerries Foraging Walk TBA
Sep 26th 8.00pm to 9.30pm Growing Food Skerries Mills
Oct 3rd 8.00pm to 9.30pm Skerries as a Sustainable Community Skerries Mills
Oct 10th 8.00pm to 9.30pm Sustainable Purchasing Decisions Skerries Mills
Oct 19th Note Saturday Afternoon (1.30pm to 5pm) Rediscover Fashion ( upcycling clothing) Skerries Sailing Club
Oct 24th 8.00pm to 9.30pm Fabric Crafts ( Knitting, crochet and sewing – taster sessions on each ) Skerries Mills
October 31st 8.00pm to 9.30pm Waste from the Home Skerries Mills
Nov 7th 8.00pm to 9.30pm Sustainable Energy in the Home Skerries Mills

Would you share your garden for free fruit & vegetables?

Garden Share Schemes have been popular in America, UK and other countries for some time now.  A Garden Share scheme essentially pairs up gardeners who have nowhere to grow their own food with garden owners who have the space to grow but for whatever reason are not able to.

These schemes have attracted garden owners for numerous reasons, among which are: they do not know anything about growing food and want to learn from an experienced gardener; they no longer have the mobility to do their own gardening but would like to see their garden used by someone else (often these owners have lots of invaluable growing knowledge to pass on); they do not have the time to grow food but would like to see someone else do so.

The majority of volunteer gardeners join the scheme as a means of accessing a growing space. Whether they live in an apartment or are renting, this scheme gives them a space to grow their own food.

The benefits of such schemes are immense. From this wonderfully symbiotic relationship two people now have access to locally grown, seasonal vegetables. The sense of wellbeing gotten from eating freshly grown food that you had a hand in producing, whether by labour or provision of land, is wonderful.  This way of producing food also helps the environment by providing fruit and vegetables with no food miles. 

Beyond the health and environmental benefits, the social benefits, especially for elderly or disabled garden owners are extremely positive. The social contact of having someone calling a few times a week can make such a huge difference in the lives of some people. The relief of knowing that your garden is being used, especially  for food production and the security of knowing that someone is keeping an eye on the house & garden can also be very reassuring for garden owners. And the list goes on…

As with most community focused initiatives there are as many ways to organise a Garden Share Scheme as there are schemes. The basic principle of matching a compatible owner and gardener with each other is mediated in a variety of ways. In most cases, interested parties register themselves with the scheme. They would then individually meet with the co-ordinators. This gives the co-ordinators a chance to get to know each party a bit better and armed with this knowledge, they can then make the best pairing they can. Some groups also manage the agreement stage too.  This agreement covers issues such as access to the garden, tools, storage, division of produce and all the other nitty-gritty involved in such arrangements.

Schemes such as these have been running successfully in Edinburgh and also Brighton & Hove. These schemes would highlight the huge benefits of their schemes to elderly people in their communities. The other major success in these schemes has been that they offer people another path into growing their own food and all the joys that come from that.

If you are interested in Skerries Garden Share Scheme get in touch with us :


Or call Barry on 087-229 5840

Further information on Garden Share Schemes can be found on the following sites:

An information evening for the Skerries Community Harvest Group and weekly local organic vegetable boxes for 2013 will be held next Thursday, 14th March at 7.45pm in the Skerries Sailing Club

Paddy, our organic farmer, will let us know the crop plans he has for 2013 season, which starts in early May. It’s also a chance to give feedback and have any queries answered etc.

We are hoping to increase the CHG by a few more members this year so if you have any friends who you think might like to meet the farmer and hear from current members, it would be great if they came
along that night and see if they like what they hear.

Any queries in advance of the meeting, please contact:

The following is an extract from a recent article by Dr Tim Morgan, who is global head of research at Tullett Prebon. See the complete article at City AM.

“THE West lies at the confluence of four extremely dangerous long-term developments. Individually or collectively, they have already begun to reverse more than two centuries of economic expansion.

The first is well-known: the creation of the worst financial bubble in history – “the great credit super-cycle”. Since the 1980s, a relentless shift to immediate consumption resulted in the accumulation of debt on an unprecedented scale. The financial crisis was not entirely the result of a short period of malfeasance by a tiny minority. What began in 2008 was the denouement of a broad-based process that lasted for 30 years.

The compounding mistake was a belief that globalisation would make everyone richer. The problem was that the West reduced production without corresponding reductions in consumption. At constant 2011 values, US consumer consumption rose by $6.5 trillion (£4.1 trillion) between 1981 and 2011, while government consumption rose by $1.7 trillion. Talk of Western economies moving into services was waffle – consumers sold each other greater numbers of hair cuts and fast food, while increasingly depending on imported goods. The debts used to buy them also soared. Between 1981 and 2011, US indebtedness rose from $11 trillion to $54 trillion.

The third trend – the massaging of economic statistics – may serve as explanation for why this happened. In the US, the benchmark inflation measure has been modified by “substitution”, “hedonics” and “geometric weighting” to the point that reported numbers seem six percentage points lower than under the calculation used until the 1980s. Distorted inflation also tells earners that they are getting better off, even when this conflicts with their own perceptions.

But a final development is perhaps most concerning. The modern economy began when agriculture created an energy surplus, liberating people to engage in non-subsistence activities. A larger liberation occurred with the invention of the heat engine – energy delivered by labour could be leveraged by coal, oil and natural gas. A single gallon of petrol delivers work equivalent to 360 to 490 hours of human labour.

The critical equation is the difference between energy extracted and energy consumed in extraction – energy return on energy invested (EROEI). Since the Industrial Revolution, EROEI has been high. Oil discovered in the 1930s provided 100 units of energy for every unit consumed. But EROEI has fallen, as discoveries have become smaller and more costly to extract. The killer factor is the non-linear nature of EROEIs. Once returns ratios fall below 15:1, there is a dramatic “cliff-edge” slump in surplus energy, combined with a sharp escalation in cost. And the global average EROEI may fall to 11:1 by 2020. Energy will be 50 per cent more expensive, in real terms, than today. And this will carry through into the cost of almost everything – including food.

We are nearing the end of a period of 250 years in which growth has been the assumed normal. And, without action, this will have stark implications for the economies of the West.”

See the complete article at City AM.

Skerries Allotments has won a Merit Award from the RDS in the Allotments category. They were commended for their sustainable water irrigation system and their community activities, which include a community Polytunnel and seasonal barbeques.

Along with an active allotment association which works in partnership with Fingal Co. Co.

The prize was awarded at the GIY annual conference in Waterford in September. The award was accepted by Mary Marsden and Barry Brady, both prominent members of Sustainable Skerries and the main drivers behind the Skerries Allotments. Well done to Mary and Barry, a well deserved recognition of their hard work and commitment to their community.

Fingal County Hall, Sept 2012.

News from Fingal County Hall, Sustainable Skerries just won first prize in the Fingal Cleaner Communities awards for Best Environmental Initiative.

The commendation noted the Skerries Allotments, the Community Harvest Group, our work with the TY Students in the Community College, the water conservation work and work on improving community resilience.

We’re absolutely delighted to recieve this award, it recognises the hard work put in by our volunteers in the past three years.
Making our community sustainable and resilient is rewarding work, but it’s also great craic. With the volunteers we have in our group, I’m sure the craic will continue for a long time to come.

May 2019
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